1. Monetary Policy The Monetary Policy is the policy statement, announced annually in April, but reviewed four times a year at the end of each quarter, through which the Reserve Bank of India seeks to ensure price stability for the economy. Its constituents include - money supply, interest rates and the inflation. In banking and economic terms, money supply is referred to as M3 - which indicates the level (stock) of legal currency in the economy.
2. Besides… The RBI also announces norms for the banking and financial sector and the institutions which are governed by it. These financial institutions include: Banks, Financial institutions, Non-banking financial institutions, Nidhis and primary dealers (money markets) Dealers in the foreign exchange (forex) market.
3. How is the Monetary Policy different from the Fiscal Policy? The Monetary Policy is different from Fiscal Policy as the former brings about a change in the economy by changing money supply and interest rates, whereas the latter is a broader tool with the Government. The Fiscal Policy can be used to overcome recession and control inflation. It may be defined as a deliberate change in Government revenue and expenditure to influence the level of national output and prices.
4. • For instance, the Government can reduce its expenditures or raise taxes during inflationary times.• Fiscal policy aims at changing aggregate demand by suitable changes in government spending and taxes.• The annual Union Budget showcases the Governments Fiscal Policy.
5. What are the objectives of the Monetary Policy? The objectives are to maintain price stability and ensure adequate flow of credit to the productive sectors of the economy. Stability for the national currency (after looking at prevailing economic conditions), growth in employment and income are also looked into. The monetary policy affects the financial markets through short-term quarterly implications as it is reviewed four times a year.
6. OK…but how does the Monetary Policy impact me? In recent years, the policy has gained in importance due to announcements of the interest rates, which impact our lives. Over the past few years, the RBI Governor has preferred not to wait for the Monetary Policy (which is annual) to announce a revision in interest rates and these revisions have been made (in the quarterly reviews) as & when the situation arises.
7. To Sum Up… The RBI Governor has taken a firm stand on fighting inflation in his latest monetary policy statement. It announces that the repo rate be increased by 50 basis points from 8.5 per cent to 9 per cent and the cash reserve ratio by 25 basis points to 9 per cent with effect from the fortnight beginning August 30, 2008. At this juncture, the Governor admits the realistic policy endeavour would be to bring down inflation from the current level of 12 per cent to a range of 7 per cent by March 2009.